11/16/2000

Toronto, ON., November 16, 2000. Previous property tax legislation has proven to be complex and it looks like today's Bill is no different.
The continuation of a 5% increase a year on capped properties means that in some municipalities it will be a long time to reach CVA and therefore fair taxation.

"The government has been clear that it wants to see the property tax burden on business to decrease significantly," said AMO President Ann Mulvale.  "This is a reasonable goal and one supported by AMO.  Achieving it is important to the competitiveness of Ontario.  However, if the current income redistribution programs remain on the property tax base (e.g., welfare, social housing) achieving this goal shifts more tax burden to the residential taxpayer."

AMO agrees with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business that the Province should remove the financial burden and exposure associated with the social and health services that are now funded through the residential and commercial property taxes.  AMO has asked the Province to work with us and business leaders on a plan.  Provincial  revenues have grown significantly - now is the time to achieve this goal.  

AMO expects today's legislation will be quickly pushed through the legislature as Bill 79 sunsets in six weeks. Our experience with Bill 79 was that there was far too much to do and too little time to do it in.  It was complex legislation that was implemented through a multitude of regulations.  "As a result, tax bills were significantly delayed," said President Mulvale.  "AMO seeks assurances from the Minister of Finance that today=s Bill and its regulations and technology support to municipalities will not result in tax billing delays as did Bill 79.  If municipalities run into similar problems with this new legislation as they did with Bill 79, then the Minister must agree to assist municipalities with cash-flow problems."

A Primer on Property Assessment and Taxation, which provides an overview of the changes to the municipal property tax regime is available at www.amo.on.ca.

The Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) is a non-profit organization with member municipalities representing 98 per cent of Ontario's population. The mandate of AMO is to promote, support and enhance strong and effective municipal government in Ontario.

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